- Number of Discs: 2
- Rated: Not Rated
- Run Time: 2 hours
- Released: July 21, 2009
- Originally Released: 2009
- Label: Megaforce
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Note: Uninterrupted performances
- Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo - English
- Subtitles - French, Japanese, Spanish
Performers, Cast and Crew:
David Boska &
Ian McCrudden &
Director of Photography:
John Cameron Mitchell,
Mary "Bunny" Sellers,
Joe Wielding &
Description by OLDIES.com:
Anita O'Day was one of the greatest American Jazz singers and this critically acclaimed award-winning documentary tells her astonishing story - a journey of survival, and above all the enduarance of her talent, told in a number of frank interviews with her and with those who knew her. Her career was long and eventful, spanning seven decades; her last album recorded when she was 84.
Anita O'Day only ever wanted to be a singer and the film showcases performances that date back to the 50's with such artists as Gene Krupa, Roy Eldridge, Stan Kenton, Louis Armestrong and Hoagy Carmichael. She is shown teaching Billy Taylor how to be a jazz vocalist. Bert Stern comments on Anita performing "Sweet Georgia Brown" for his film JAZZ ON A SUMMER'S DAY while George Wein, legendary impresario, states it was the greatest rendition of the song ever made.
She speaks candidly, always candidly, with Dick Cavett, Bryant Gumble and David Frost, and in interviews on 60 Minutes and CBS This Morning. Anita was a woman who lived her life the she wanted without every looking back and was a musical genius and pioneer who broke race barriers. She talks openly about how she had to overcome great adversities, including a 20-year addiction to heroin and alcohol. The film shows Anita on tour in Europe well into her eighties and making her final recording shortly before her death, the death of an icon.
Includes 32-page full-color booklet featuring:
- Essay by Jim Gavin
- Essay by Will Friedwald
- Selected chapter from Anita's autobiography High Times Hard Times
- 16 pages reproduced from Anita's personal scrapbooks
The world lost the defiantly unpredictable, trend-busting bop vocalist Anita O'Day in November 2006, to dementia and pneumonia. A year or so prior, documentarians Ian McCrudden and Robbie Cavolina (perhaps foreseeing this loss) set out to create the definitive film portrait of the chanteuse, entitled ANITA O'DAY: THE LIFE OF A JAZZ SINGER. This biography recounts O'Day's life story by intercutting archival performance footage of the vocalist with fond reminiscences from friends and colleagues and cutaways to O'Day's original reviews and publicity material. Interviewees include Bryant Gumbel, Harry Reasoner, Dick Clark, Annie Ross, and Johnny Mandel.
Concert Footage |
Drug Addiction |
Music (General) |